Untangle The Angle: WWE Raw 04/02/2013

It’s time to fasten your seat belts and buckle up tight,  The next few months of WWE TV will carry many twists and turns. All signs lead to East Rutherford, New Jersey where only one thing is certain, the journey ahead… is bound to be ‘Rock-y’.

Join me, Oliver JK Smith, As I ‘Untangle The Angles’ from Monday Night Raw.With Wresltemania at the forefront of WWE television, It’s time to speculate where the superstars involved in current storylines, may find themselves on April 7th.

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For now it’s February 4th, And we have ourselves a new self proclaimed people’s champion! CM Punk opens this weeks edition of Monday Night Raw with a fantastic promo, in which  he states that every action causes a reaction. As The Second City Saint continues to berate the new WWE champion, The live crowd react. In a desperate attempt to summon ‘the great one’ to the ring, They call their hero’s name… He does not come. Such is the reaction of part time star. Thankfully, It doesn’t matter that  The Rock was unavailable this Monday. CM punk can carry this angle on his own for now. Personally, I enjoy Punk’s promos when he isn’t going back and forth with Rocky. The Rock’s old school ‘candy ass’ routine contradicts CM punk’s styling and Dwayne Johnson knows this. Love it or hate it,  more people will remember Rock’s over the top put downs more so than the ‘message’ CM punk tries to convey in his ‘shoot’ like fashion. CM punk deserves better. But what Punk deserves as a performer does not outweigh what entertains the millions (and millions!) of  fans that have evidently paid more attention to the product since The Rock’s return.

If the Royal Rumble is our metaphorical toll booth, checking in the WWE express, before it drives full steam ahead down the road to Wrestlemania; It seems likely that John Cena will assume his usual seat at the front of the bus, The Rock will drive, Whilst CM Punk will be left to pick up the gas bill…

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The mischievous Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose continue to run up and down the coach aisle of our WWE Express; They are yet to find relevance in 2013. Like Brad Maddox’s low blow back at Hell In The Cell, The Shield were conceived by WWE purely as a means of  stretching Punk’s title reign long enough for The Brahma Bull to take charge at the Rumble.The video package promoting The Shield on Raw this week reminded us that the group were first introduced to us 3 months ago. They have since moved from one random attack on a baby face wrestler to another, until the only injustice left has been the lack of story progression during this time. Thankfully the show concluded with something fresh from the trio, attacking a whining Brad Maddox. The assault on Maddox has had the IWC speculating a possible face turn for Maddox, This wont happen. The Shield are portrayed to be cool- With their black attire, original vignettes and unique entrances, it’s clear WWE want us to like The Shield. This heinous act distances themselves from Maddox within the context of the current story line,  it also acknowledges the former NXT rookies are to be true ‘bad guys’, I’m talking Razor Ramon BAD, I’m talking 3:16 BAD…I’m talking…COOL!

Individually, these 3 men deserve their spot on the main roster, they have each earned their stripes in the lower leagues (no disrespect to ROH). My worry for them moving forward is what brought them to the dance in the first place: Inconsistent, knee jerk reactions from WWE creative.At this moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roman Reigns was actually revealed to be Hornswoggle on stilts…I’m not certain WWE know if The Shield will make it to the final card at ‘Mania; Yet, I don’t doubt their presence will be felt on the night.

WWE also appear to be keeping their options open when it comes to the World Heavyweight Title Picture. This year’s Elimination Chamber match will determine who faces the World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania. Picking a winner is becoming increasingly more difficult with each entrant that Booker T names. With such a strong contingent gunning for the world heavyweight gold, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a packed Smackdown! Main event at ‘Mania, Anything less than a triple threat match for the title could leave big names out in the cold.

I predict the Del Rio/Big Show bully angle could run into Wrestlemania, And I would suggest such a personal feud doesn’t need a title attached to it. The vulnerable Rodriguez has played an imperative part in the face turn of Alberto Del Rio, the change in persona has been compelling to say the least. I just hope the novelty doesn’t wear off too soon. The over-exposure of his new character (appearing on both Raw & Smackdown) may prove to be the ultimate un-doing of his latest title run. Raw’s hotel segments involving Del Rio and Big Show did little to progress their feud, likely affecting Smackdown! ratings as a result. Why tune in on Friday when you can see Del Rio exact revenge on Monday night instead? Del Rio has earned a more prestigious spot than he was afforded as a member of ‘Team Johnny’ at Wrestlemania XXVIII . WWE should allow the ‘altered aristocrat’ to fulfill his destiny- Beating the bully once and for all on ‘the grandness stage. Reference the ‘BA Star’ campaign and this angle makes almost too much sense for WWE to pull off…so I wont hold my breath.

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Time for a bit of audience participation…

In Spanish: aliménteme más

In French: me nourrir plus

In Swedish: mata mig mer

In Italian: nutrirmi di più

Antonino Cesaro and Ryback have the WWE Universe eating out of the palms of their hands. Raw’s match between the two showcased both men and  their respective strengths well. The repetitive and at times, incessant ‘Feed Me More’ chants compliments Ryback’s gimmick. Repetition and predictability are a hallmark for any top-face in WWE, it’s wrestling’s equivalent of a satisfaction guarantee; And in this case it’s bound to send the silver back cyborg marching into a top spot come ‘Mania. Cesaro vs Ryback could have/should have been Ryback’s baptism on fire at the ‘grand daddy of them all’! The current US Champion has all the attributes to pose a serious threat to the infallible Ryback . Antonio’s intelligence matches his own strength, something rarely seen in heels of this current era.Yet,  It seems likely to me that The Miz will be the one to receive his ‘Wrestlemania’ moment at the expense of The Swiss Sensation, not Ryback. When you look at how much effort WWE have invested in ”The most must see superstar’ over the last few months, I predict  ‘Mania to be the final nudge in getting him over as a face, stripping Cesaro of his US title completes that process.

In spite of their most recent relapse on Monday night and with Team Rhode Scholars parting ways last week, Team Hell No’s tag team title reign remains in tact. Considering the mega-talented Sandow and Rhodes were unsuccessful in defeating the tumultuous two, I can’t see how any other team in the division could cause a plausible threat to Kane and Daniel Bryan’s dominance. This is why I believe Wrestlemania XXIX could be the first to host a one on one match for the tag team titles… I see no better match up for Daniel Bryan and Kane, a chance to prove once and for all…who is THE TAG TEAM CHAMPION!

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The Rock’s path ahead has been programmed into the people’s sat-nav: He’ll take a left down ‘Know Your Role Boulevard’, swing pass  ‘Jabroni Drive’ before checking CM Punk directly into the ‘Smackdown Hotel’. Yet the greatest challenge The Rock will face, is getting to The Met Life Stadium on April 7th without the wheels falling off along the way…

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